From our early beginnings in 1957 Great Lakes Heating & Air Conditioning has been serving the Michiana area with HVAC services. From designing and choosing the correct furnace or air conditioner unit, to cleaning and maintaining your duct work, we are here to serve you with all your home comfort needs. Select any of the highlighted years from our history time line below to learn about our growth and commitment to the South Bend, Mishawaka and surrounding communities.
1957 – Russ and Dorothy Falan, along with Donald Maynard, open Great Lakes Heating & Air Conditioning @ 2029 South Michigan St, South Bend In 46614 and begin serving Michiana’s home comfort needs
1969 – Mike Ritter starts working for Russ & Dorothy Falan @ Great Lakes while he was a freshman co-op student @ Mish. High School
1978 – Mike Ritter acquires his IN heating license
1981 – At the end of the year Russ Falan retires from Great Lakes Heating while staying on as a consultant for 3 years
1982 – With 12 plus years under his belt, Mike Ritter buys Great Lakes Heating
1982 – Great Lakes Heating is the first in Michiana to offer Preventative Maintenance (PS), now known as Discount Club
1986 – Mike Ritter acquires his MI state class A mechanical, heating license
1989 – In the first 7 years Great Lakes serviced and installed more than 10,000 household systems under the guidance of Mike Ritter
1989 – Great Lakes Heating is the first HVAC contractor in Michiana to offer duct cleaning
1990 – On summer break from Laville High School, Mike Ritter Jr. begins working for Great Lakes Heating
1994 – Bruce Thompson hires in @ Great Lakes, in July
1994 – Great Lakes Heating purchases old Sears building in Plymouth and opens 2nd store
1995 – To become more diversified, Mike Ritter purchased TDH from Tim Hancz and renames it Temperature Designed Heating. Great Lakes via this new company now offers one of the largest varieties of HVAC equipment to the Michiana area and expands into the custom new house market
1997 – Mike Ritter sees the need to expand the facilities and acquires land from his late friend Wayne Blad
1998 – Nov. Ground breaking begins for the new facility at 22189 State Rd 23. The Plymouth store closes and combines at the new South Bend location
1999 – June the move to 22189 State Rd 23 is complete. The new location allows Great Lakes to serve more customers on a much more timely fashion. The extra storage allows larger purchases of equipment. This helps Great Lakes negotiate volume purchases from suppliers and manufacturers reducing endless price increases. Volume purchasing enables Great Lakes to provide better pricing without reducing quality. Bringing an enhanced value to the customers we serve without price increases.
2000 – Great Lakes Heating is the 1st, and currently the ONLY HVAC contractor in Michiana with an operational showroom. There are over 20 pieces of HVAC equipment for you to see, hear and feel in operation.
2005 – In February we received the (NATE) certification. “North American Trade of Excellence” — Great Lakes Heating and Air Conditioning has received this award 4x more than any of its competitors.
2005 – Mike Ritter, Jr. becomes a licensed electrician for the South Bend/Michiana area.
2010 – 3 additional vans are added to our fleet as well as a full time master electrician to increase our ability to meet the needs of residential clients
2015 & beyond – With our deep ties to the community and our rich heritage we will be here to continue serving your needs and perhaps some day even the home comfort desires of your children